- 139,00 kr
“Enlightening and ambitious… a book that travels into rich terrain, charted by a smart and eager tour guide.”—New York Times Book Review
A path-breaking journey into the brain, showing how perception, thought, and action are products of maps etched into your gray matter—and how technology can use them to read your mind.
Your brain is a collection of maps: detailed representations, scrawled across your brain’s surfaces, of the sights, sounds, and actions that hold the key to your survival. Although scientists began discovering these maps over a century ago, we are only now beginning to unlock their secrets—and comprehend their profound impact on our lives. Brain maps distort and shape our experience of the world, support complex thought, and make technology-enabled mind reading a modern-day reality. They shine a light on our past and our possible futures. In the process, they invite us to view ourselves from a startling new perspective.
In Brainscapes, Rebecca Schwarzlose combines unforgettable real-life stories, cutting-edge research, and vivid illustrations to reveal brain maps’ surprising lessons about our place in the world—and about the world’s place within us.
Neuroscientist Schwarzlose debuts with a fascinating deep-dive into the "remarkable maps" in the human brain. "I am not being metaphorical or using artistic license; there are actual maps in your brain," she writes, and explains how those maps, made of interconnected neurons, function. Schwarzlose examines how each of the five senses is translated into perception via brain maps: the maps feature "gross distortions," she writes, in how the brain perceives and makes sense of the world. These maps also play a role in movement, enabling memory and allowing humans to comprehend emotions. She also describes breakthroughs that enable individuals in apparent vegetative states to communicate through mental imagery and allow paralyzed individuals to control prosthetic devices simply by thinking of motions. She also warns of the double-edged nature of "brain-based" technologies often brushed off as science fiction: they may "empower the powerless, but they might also threaten our privacy and lessen our personal sovereignty." Schwarzlose's presentation of cutting-edge science is consistently accessible and concise, as is her historical perspective on early brain research (she describes work on mental imagery used by the founder of eugenics in 1870, noting that his sample only featured aristocratic European men). This is deeply enjoyable and thoroughly researched science-minded readers should take note. \n